It’s back! Cactus Records will present Record Store Day 2017 on Saturday, April 22nd in conjunction with the nationwide celebration of this year’s annual event recognizing independent record stores across the country. Conceived ten years ago, this now 9th annual event is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store — the staff, the customers, and the artists — to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities.
In anticipation of Bozeman’s festivities, The Rolling Zone sat down with Cactus Records owner Mike “Bueno” Good to talk everything record store — from the value of physical media to Cactus’ role in our mountainside community and just what they have planned for this sprightly day of observance.
RZ: What is Record Store Day?
B: Record Store Day was started during a period when something like 70% of record stores, indies, as well as chains closed their doors. That was looking the way everybody was going. Digital definitely took over the whole music industry, from a consumer’s standpoint. Record Store Day was started by a coalition of independent music stores, an association who wanted to bring communities together [and] point out a record store is a valuable part of the community that should be celebrated. There are cites across the country that have made Record Store Day a city holiday — the whole city makes a big deal about it with the mayors giving speeches at record stores. It’s a day of celebration of music and the local community.
RZ: What will people be coming in for?
B: One really popular part of Record Store Day is the limited edition releases that come out for the day. Collectors go nuts for these things. The first year, there were like eight releases. Now there’s close to a thousand. If you don’t get them on Record Store Day, you’ll end up spending a whole lot more on eBay. Stores can’t mark them up like that, but consumers who’ve waited in line unfortunately sometimes flip the records for a profit. Mostly it’s about the collectors who get really excited, vinyl junkies who love music and love the physical format.
> Record Store Day’s catalog of exclusive releases is larger than ever in 2017. Stop by participating independent record stores and you’ll find titles by the likes of Against Me!, Alice In Chains, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Cars, Johnny Cash, The Cure, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, Jane’s Addiction, Elton John, The Kinks, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, Prince, Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Sex Pistols, Sting, U2, Neil Young, and The Zombies. A complete list of exclusive titles is available at www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases. <
RZ: So record lovers can come in and get their fix.
B: Supplies are limited and record stores don’t get everything they order, so there’s no guarantee a store is going to have the items you’re looking for. A couple years ago, we had a customer from Billings come in and bought all six copies of this one piece they really wanted. So for those who do come in looking for one special piece, people are only allowed to buy one copy per customer.
RZ: What else does Cactus have planned for the day?
B: We open at 9am to a line outside the door, [with] the first two hours reserved for people who are buying. We’ll have all our goods displayed on the walls alphabetically. When we open the doors, there’s a mad dash of people looking — they have their lists and know the things they want to find. And as we have every year, we’ll have live bands all day, every hour on the hour starting at 11am. We have sales all day as well. It’s a lot of fun, great family entertainment, just a great vibe. It’s my favorite holiday.
> Sure you’ve got your limited edition release in hand and all is well in the world, but what about the live music and other entertainment? Here’s a look at the tentative schedule that’ll keep the festivities rock n’ rolling all day long.
Indie rock group Geek Macho, a new band getting their start in the Bozeman music scene, will kick off the performances at 11am.
Peter King & the Dead Yellers will offer up a few tunes alongside Slo Mo Joe front man and electric guitar specialist Joe Knapp at noon.
The first taste of Ryan Cassavaugh’s new musical Freak Out! will follow beginning at 1pm. Sure to entertain, the psychedelic horror extravaganza features life size puppets and debuts at Verge Theater in May.
Many know him as owner and producer of Live From The Divide, but singer/songwriter Jason Wickens will perform selections of his own at 2pm.
The explosive horn and percussion trio Moon Hooch will stop in for a special performance at 3pm. The Brooklyn-based band is touring in support of their third and most adventurous album to date. Red Sky pushes their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music.
Funk group Copperhead, another new Bozeman band, are set for the 4pm slot.
Check out newly-formed Montana super group Swamp Dawg, bringing swampy southern soul and New Orleans-style funk at 5pm.
Local favorite Paige & The People’s Band will also be on hand to close out the live performances at 6pm. The nine-piece horn powered and vocally charged group has a feeling of ‘70s soul with a modern twist. The band dresses to impress, giving their performances a sense of occasion then blasting the roof off with their big band, powerhouse sound!
That’s not all! Laugh it off with some live comedy throughout the day. Stand-up comedians Keith Martinez, Kendama Gendale, and Jeffrey Strock will keep the momentum going between music sets.
And of course — don’t forget about the Record Store Day swag! <
RZ: Cactus has been a local institution forever. How do you feel about being a part of this community?
B: I think it’s an integral part of the community. It would be very tragic if it went away, and I don’t foresee that happening. Cactus has been around Downtown Bozeman since 1970. I’ve owned it for fifteen years, [and] when the all the stores were going under I was this close to the brink, about thought I was going to have to throw in the towel. I stuck it out for a couple more years and now things are really good again. Downtown Bozeman would not be the same without Cactus Records. We provide a lot of character and local community. It’s part of the face of Downtown Bozeman, and part of the community — kind of the more esoteric, weird part, and the music lover part.
RZ: It’s always been a little bit of everything.
B: We almost never have to deal with crabby customers. People come in here and their eyes light up and get smiles on their faces. The staff hear laughter all day long. People are excited going through the music, the whole tangible aspect of it. I read a quote this morning — and I’m going to tear this up — browsing through records is the act of looking inside yourself. It’s very meditative. It’s soothing and makes for happy people.
RZ: I read an interview a while ago, I don’t remember who with. Someone who was wanting to find this specific vinyl, but didn’t want to order it. They wanted to come across it at a record store.
B: The hunt is a very huge part of collecting vinyl. Wherever I go, I spend half my vacation in record stores. Not for business purposes, but because it’s where I’m most comfortable. There’s always records I’m looking for. Finding that one nugget, to me that’s better than a t-shirt saying, ‘I went to…’ Whenever I’m going through my collection and I see this record, I’ll remember what store I bought it in and what I was doing and who I was with. It’s a bookmark in a time of your life.
RZ: Not to say it’ll ever get back to where it was before digital, but it appears there’s been a bit of a resurgence and more interest in physical media as of late.
B: Significantly more. It’s been on the uptick for a few years now. We’ve especially seen it in the last few years, it’s really been blossoming. Right now, for the most part, we sell more vinyl than CDs, but there are also weeks we sell more CDs than vinyl. It will never be where it was before, and it’s not for everybody. I understand the convenience of downloads. I love having my music collection in my pocket, bringing it wherever I want, but the physical format is just a lot more satisfying. It’s definitely growing. People miss that aspect, going to local record stores — especially because they’re more scarce than they used to be. Being in the same room, interacting with people who love music. Music brings people together and a record store is a natural place for that to happen.
RZ: And what better time to come together than on Record Store Day. Any final thoughts?
B: We love our customers. We love Bozeman. It’ll be a great day and everybody should come check it out!
Can’t make it down? Local music distribution company and Record Store Day co-sponsors Get It On Vinyl will help live stream the event on YouTube. Anyone from anywhere can experience the performances, watch interviews with customers, and envy all the giveaways on YouTube. A link will be accessible through Cactus’ Facebook page, www.CactusRecords.net, or www.getitonvinyl.com.
Support physical music. Support locals. Support Bozeman. Record Store Day is April 22nd. •